Resort prepares for invasion of penguins

NORTHERN hemisphere beaches are not somewhere you would normally find one of the planet's most popular birds.

NORTHERN hemisphere beaches are not somewhere you would normally find one of the planet's most popular birds.

This summer though an incredible clay colony of penguins will be living on Felixstowe's shore in a special art installation.

The idea arose after artist Rob Rutterford placed a single ceramic penguin on the beach at Art on the Prom last year.

Seeing the penguin standing in isolation on a shore where they would not usually be found and the reaction of people who saw it made him want to try something bigger at the art event this time.

Through his Association of Suffolk Art Teachers work, Mr Rutterford contacted Paul Rearden, director for learner achievement at Deben High School, a specialist college for the visual and performing arts, to set up a project to create more than 100 of the birds.

“I have been working with students across all year groups to produce as many pot penguins as possible in three days,” said Mr Rutterford, of Halesworth.

Most Read

“Tall, short, fat, thin and in their hundreds the clay penguins occupy every corner and shelf in the art room at Deben.

“Thanks should go to all the students for the work and effort they put into producing the penguins, and to the staff for their support.”

Mr Rearden said: “Rob has such a great personality that the students can't fail to be enthused by his energy and passion for his art.

“Not only have all the year groups from year seven to year 13 and some staff enjoyed working with Rob, they have also learned a great deal about how a professional artist works and makes a living.

“I can't wait to see these brilliant pieces of individual work all come together to make such an exciting exhibit at Art on the Prom.”

Kathryn Thorogood, year ten student, said: “I really enjoyed the workshops because it was interesting to hear from and work with an established artist.

“I enjoyed being able to be creative with the clay and make good quality sculptures. It was great to have the opportunity to see the life of an artist who sells his work.”

Art on the Prom takes place on August 30 where the penguins will be sold to support the school.

Should there be more public art in Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail